Several weeks ago, Lynnda and I were working on our foundation's 2009 donations. One of our board members, after we had chosen one of the groups to support, said "now, what do you want to do with the rest". Lynnda replied... "I just want to buy goats for kids in Africa". We kinda chuckled together, and really didn't think much more about it. Lynnda and I had discussed various personal Christmas Gifts last year, and again this... settling on clean-water wells and goats for African families... but the Foundation, that is different and we had not considered it.
After the meeting, Lynnda and I had about two hours to kill, so we headed over to Saint Mary's University, my alma mater. We decided to drop in on Pat Bishara who is responsible for securing donations to the university. We have worked with Pat on several projects, mostly around the Chard - Hutton Foundation.
We asked Pat what she was working on... there was a pile of paper on her desk... and she said it was a special thing she was helping a student with... a book that was being published about Southern Sudan, Africa. Well, that is enough to tweek one's interest...
Turns out, a student named Jacob Deng had transferred in to SMU from Acadia University. Jacob is from Southern Sudan... a town named Duk Padiet which is in a Christian area of Sudan... via countless refugee camps and the impossible... Jacob had earned a full ride to our university. A different route... he had been driven from his village as a child, when his parents and several siblings were murdered, along with other family and tribe members... by insurgent troops... looking to dominate the Christians and the geography... because there is a lot of undeveloped oil in the ground in Southern Sudan.
A few years ago, Jacob decided that he wanted to help his homeland improve from the destitute status the people were living with today. He started a Society called Wadeng Wings of Hope. He started getting donations that would be used to buy goats for the people left in his village. He has done that for several years now... a few hundred in total. Goats provide high protein milk for the families... from the scrub land that is not yet developed.
Then the society started working on a project... to educate the children of the village and surrounding area. They don't have schools there today... but one day, Jacob wants to build one, teach in it, and run the courses through high school, so that the children can follow his foot prints, through university.
This year we are supporting the purchase of 50 more goats... and materials for the women of the village to sew into clothing for the children. We will also be helping Jacob with his project to build and run a school ... it is called the Duk Padiet School Project... Building Hope, Brick by Brick.
Next year... well, we will cross each bridge as they come... but surly it will and we will. It has already been an amazing story... to have Pat introduce us to the 'Goat Guy', just a few moments after Lynnda's comment that she just wanted to buy goats... there have to be more bridges... like the one Pat has shown us
It is a big project... hope you will have a look at the web site... and wonder if you too will help in the future... http://www.wadeng.org